Colorist Resources Round Up

Great Resources for Colourists

Another wave of great resources for new colourists has hit the web and I’ve rounded up a fair few of them here. Hopefully this melange of tutorials, tips and training will help you progress in the fun that is colour grading.

Node Set Up Color Grading tutorials

Summer Blockbuster Grading Tutorial

Juan Melera, whose free film emulation LUTS are very popular, recently posted this meaty tutorial on creating a summer blockbuster look similar to Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol. If you want to follow along with Juan you can also download the original 5K RED files.

In the tutorial I analyse the look of Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol and show you it’s not one single cool hue being added to the image, but actually several hues that appear at specific places on the luminosity ramp.

Some professional colorist’s seem to get a bit agitated by the propagation of the idea that you can simply shove a LUT on your footage and that makes you a colorist. Of course it doesn’t but that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t use them if you want to.

People ask me why I use film LUTs and if they are somehow cheating by using them. I use LUTs because I think they’re an important component in achieving this look. Film LUTs have been used by post production studios on films for aslong as they’ve been conducting DI colour grades. There’s a good chance that the films people continually try to match the look of, have been graded with a film LUT which has then been baked in, thus becoming a large part of the finished look.

Ask a Colorist – Alexis Van Hurkman Q&A blog

Resources for learning colour grading

If you’ve ever wanted even more direct access to a professional colorist and trainer then your wishes have been granted. Alexis Van Hurkman (who recently demoed DaVinci Resolve 10 at NAB. wrote its manual and has some excellent training on Resolve) has a new blog over on Pro Video Coalition which will take the form of a Q&A structure. In this first post Alexis answers a couple of questions about Video Scopes. If you want to email in you can do so via

Interviews with Colorists

Tom Parish chats with colorist Rob Bessette about his career and what its like to demo DaVinci Resolve at NAB. Its a great interview with plenty of inside detail on Resolve 10 and is well worth a listen. For more interviews with professional colorists check out these five I put together on Premium Beat, including another great chat from Tom Parish with Patrick Inhoffer.

The Craft of Colour Grading

Its always interesting to get an inside look at the workflow and artistic intent of working colorists and these few resources will give you that insiders view.

Studio Daily has a great interview with colorist Leandro Marini, on his approach to owning and running a boutique post production shop (Local Hero Post) and using Assimilate Scratch to perform creative DI in post. This quote is from Leandro’s work on Pitch Perfect.

The director saw the footage and although there was a lot of flaring going on with the lights that were there already, he thought the stage felt kind of empty. In the DI we filled in more of the flares and added spotlights and moving spotlights. It just made the world feel bigger and more expensive. We did those directly in the color system. When you watch the final film, it just makes those scenes look more exciting. And that’s work you’d typically ship out to VFX vendors.

Interview with Colorists

Colorist Aaron Peak is briefly interviewed over on the Film Independent blog – giving an introduction to what it takes to grade an indie feature.

I generally already have an idea of the narrative and story from talking to the director and DP about the film and it’s intended look and feel. The last thing I’d want to do is tie my eyes to an offline version of the color, as that version is typically quite generic and not creatively appropriate for the film. Everyone else has been looking at that offline editorial for months and what the picture really needs are fresh eyes.

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